Chicago Restaurant Week runs February 17 through February 26, 2012, and features $22 lunch and $33/$44 dinner prix fixe menus from participating restaurants. With over 260 excellent local dining options to choose from, it was hard to whittle the list down to three.
Ceres' Table (4882 North Clark Street) in Andersonville is one of those neighborhood gems that everyone prays will open nearby and stay a secret. A place this good has no chance of fading quietly into the neighborhood fabric though --- their locally-sourced, seasonally-primed menu is just too good. I'm already salivating over my plans for parsnip and celery root soup and the arctic char alla ghiotta.
Chef Dirk Flanigan always makes me smile -- that's because when I see him, I know I'm going to get a good meal. He runs The Gage (24 South Michigan Avenue), just steps away from the hustle and bustle of Millennium Park. I'm looking forward to a lunch of Celery Root Puree and BBQ duck confit followed by the Hyssop Panna Cotta.
I'm also looking forward to dinner at Sepia (123 N. Jefferson Street) because it's been far too long since I've had Chef Andrew Zimmerman's cooking, or enjoyed the chill vibe of this retro space. The challenge here was between the roasted beet and leak soup with caviar, vodka, and creme fraiche from the lunch menu versus the fig-stuffed pork tenderloin from the dinner menu. Even though I'll have to make a mad dash from work, dinner will win out.
There are still available spots for Chicago Restaurant Week, so browse the site, drool over the menus, then make reservations!